Monday, February 1, 2010

Birds- Meiji shrine

Photos of birds by Masato Degawa, photos of human watching birds by birdmonkey.
I had a great Sunday. I meet Masa, who I meet at Oi Yacho Koen, for a day of bird watching in the Meiji Shrine. Masa had told me about the group of Mandarin Ducks who over winter in Tokyo but I had not been able to find them. As it turns out I was looking in the wrong place. We wandered up to the North pond and there they where a group of 9 males and 4 females. The females lack the bright colours but have a beauty of their own in the subtle changes in greys, brown and whites in their feathers. You can see one on the far right of the image 2nd from the top. I am wondering whether the Japanese sensibility for subtle details comes from their wide range of birds that are predominately brown, grey and white.
I explained to Masa that we did not have woodpeckers in Australia and that I had hoped to see several of the species they have in Japan. As is the way when you go to an area with an experience bird watcher you usually see more than you would on your own- hey presto! My second species- a Japanese (green) woodpecker.
Later at the bird reserve in Yoyogi we also saw Hawfinches. A field guide I like, 3 new birds, good company- a great day.


  1. They really look like that! I have drawn pictures of them, thinking they were some stylised version of a duck...well I'll be!

  2. Yes it's amazing to see them moving. The picture of them in the leaves comes from a moment when they where all feeding - they have simmery look as their feathers wooble.